What is Organic Farming?
Organic farming is a method of farming where natural waste is used to create fertilizers and natural methods used to protect the farm.
Methods/Types of Organic Farming
Some of these methods are:
- soil management
- weed management
- biological pest control
1. SOIL MANAGEMENT
By soil management we mean maintaining the health and nutrients in the soil. Plants absorb these nutrients and give back nitrogen to the soil. This in turn, enriches the soil. Each species returns a different quantity of nitrogen to the soil. Thus crop rotation is a naturally good idea, so if one species has taken more, then another, say legumes, can give back more to the soil. Soil quality can also be enhanced by ploughing back weeds, crop residue into the soil.
Genetic modification is not used.
2. WEED MANAGEMENT
Weeds are handled in a gentle manner; strong chemicals shuold not be used. They harm the crop while killing the weed, and also damage the soil. Weed management may be done in any of the following methods –
- Planting certain plants that are toxic to weeds
- Trimming weeds from the top
- Destroying weeds with heat
- Mulching – blanketing the crop from the bottom. Mulching can also protect from lice, ticks, weeds etc.
- Mixed farming –raising animals alongside plants to get rid of many weed species
3. NATURAL PEST CONTROL
Biological pest control – Burning dry garden waste and sprinkling it over the plants is also a good insecticide.
The farm structure, as is seen in the picture, is all about planting crops in a pattern that preserves maximum nutrients on the soil. The hedgerow (thick row of thorny bushes, usually) prevents soil erosion through wind and on the ground level. It would also deter larger animals from foraging on the farm.
Advantages of Organic Farming
Organic farming methods are wholesome because it takes away very little from the land and gives back what it can. Thus organic farming does not oppress and strip the land of its mineral riches. It also gives a tastier product. It is cheaper and has a higher crop yield year after year.
Benefits of Organic Farming
Here’ s a table that illustrates the benefits of natural or organic farming of bananas versus the conventional method –
|TYPE OF FARMING||Crop 1||Crop 2||Crop 3||Crop 4||MARKET PRICE/kg||PROFIT|
|NATURAL CONVENTIONAL||18kg||30kg||25kg||15kg||Rs. 2.5||Rs 154|
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